Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter and What It Means—Open Book Blog Hop

Easter has always been more that a religious holiday to me. No matter what the calendar says, Easter marks the beginning of spring in my book. My mother had a group of daffodils in the yard that bloomed around Easter each year, and that was the first sign winter was on its way out.

Tulips were next. Hers were mostly red. They were about as old as the daffodils, which were as old as me.

Then came  the lilacs, and after that it was time to plant the garden. Before I knew it it was summer.

Now that I live near the Rocky Mountains, spring is different. For example, last Tuesday it was 60° F. Wednesday we had a blizzard. So, we don't plant flowers until the end of May. And because of the effect of altitude, spring arrives in different places at different times.Spring can occur anytime between April and June depending upon how high you are.

In honor of spring, I offer you a collection of Rocky Mountain wildflower pictures.

To check out what other authors have to say, check out the links below. And please feel free to leave a comment!

#Easter #Spring #OPenBook #RockyMountains #Wildflowers

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tina Gayle & Fallen Leaves—#Egg-cerpt Exchange

So we've come to the end of the #Egg-cerpt Exchange. It seems fitting that my last guest is Tina Gayle, who organized this adventure. Thanks, Tina!

Fallen Leaves Blurb -

As autumn comes to the Winston estate in Ohio, Amber Harrison learns further lessons in her new position as keeper for the spirits and ghosts who haunt the estate--and further lessons in love, too. She and her love, Carter Miller, grapple with the fears and passions of new love, while caught up in the storm of ancient family drama.

This is the second book in the unfolding saga of the psychics and talents associated with the Winston estate, a sheltered place where past, present, and future are woven into a single dramatic tapestry of love and desire. The tale spans multiple generations, multiple eras, and offers something special for all ages of reader. A sexy, erotic winner, with an assortment of couples to appeal to most tastes.


“How long before you install the new cabinets?”

He turned on the ladder. His dark brown eyes captured her, engulfing her in an encompassing warmth. She melted under his heated gaze, which ran from the top of her head to the white socks on her feet. He lifted a brow at her attire, but he didn’t comment on her pink sweat suit.

“With the old cabinets out of the way, I need to knock down this wall and tear up the flooring. The electrical work is next on the agenda.” He climbed off the ladder, yanked off his gloves, and slid a hand through his thick, wavy hair.

“It might be awhile before we install the new cabinets. Right now, we’re simply working to remove the old stuff so we can start fresh.” He smiled, which didn’t hide the dark circles under his eyes or the fatigue in the slump of his shoulders.

“There’s no hurry. If you’re busy with something else, this can wait until your Dad and Mattie come home next week.”

“No, Dad doesn’t want her dealing with this mess.” Carter unbuckled his tool belt and placed it on a workbench. “I promised him I’d have it done.”

“Is Grant helping?” Amber stepped around several pieces of sheetrock and stray bits of wood, to the bottom of the stairs.

He walked to the backdoor. “Friday, his classes are over at noon.”

With his hand resting on the doorknob, he appeared anxious to leave. “I’m headed to lunch, and then I need to drop by the office for a while. Are you sure you’re okay here by yourself?”

Amber toyed with the idea of saying no. She missed the taste of his lips and the strength of his arms, but she nodded instead. “Yes, I’m fine.”

After opening the door, he paused. “I guess I’ll see you later.”

She waved and turned to head to her room, satisfied she’d at least gotten him to talk. Her leaden feet trudged up the steps. Unexcited, she contemplated her latest assignment from the family council. How could she achieve such an impossible task of convincing her great grandmother’s ghost to cross over?

Purchase links:


Character Questions – pick 5

1. Nickname – Don’t have one
2. Job – new keeper of the Winston Manor
3. Level of schooling, or self-taught – some college
4. Birthdate – April 17
5. Birthplace – Irving, CA
6. Currently residing in... Hebron, Ohio
7. Favorite type of pet – cat
8. Favorite place to visit – Disney World
9. Significant other – Carter Miller
10. Most important goal – to save my grandmother’s spirit
11. Worst fear or nightmare – being kicked out of the family
12. Favorite food – chocolate chip cookies
13. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? somewhere in between
14. Secret desire or fantasy – to find someone to love
15. What would you do if you won the lottery? Won’t happen, I never buy a ticket. I’m not lucky.

About Tina Gayle

Tina Gayle loves writing and is currently working on finishing her Family Tree series, a contemporary paranormal suspense series.
When not writing, she enjoys spending time with my family and traveling around the country. She hasn't hit every state, but she hopes to someday. You might also catch her on the golf course with her husband of 30 years.

Also, you can read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website or download an exclusive story "My Future Step Brother" and join her special friend's list. All on her website

Find Tina everywhere

Home -
Blog -
Twitter -!/AuthorTinaGayle
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Alina K. Field and Liliana's Letter — #Egg-cerpt Exchange

Only a few more of these #Egg-cerpt exchanges to go. It's been fun! I'm pleased to welcome Alina K. Field and her book Liliana's Letter.


Liliana’s Letter
The Matchmaker

Lord Grigsby wants nothing more than to retreat to his study, but a promise to his long-dead sister has forced him back into society to broker the marriage of his nephew to the heiress whose money can save the young man’s estate. If only the young lady’s starchy hired companion would move out of the way.

The Matchbreaker

Hired to launch an heiress’s society debut, seemingly straitlaced spinster Liliana Ashford’s future as a professional chaperone depends on the girl’s successful marriage. But Liliana had her own close encounter with a scoundrel years ago, and she won’t let her charge be forced into marriage to the same kind of rogue, no matter how hard the man’s widowed uncle tries to woo Liliana around to the match.

Secrets and a Scandalous Murder

A shadow from Liliana’s past appears bearing an unfortunate letter she wrote long ago, and then the earl is murdered, evoking the scandal of the season. While she scrambles to make a respectable match for her charge before her own past can be exposed, Grigsby sets about finding his nephew’s killer—and Liliana’s secrets.


"You clearly don't approve of the match. Do you intend to openly oppose it?"
Her head whipped around, and she glared. "It's not for me to approve or disapprove. Katie—Miss Mercer—will decide."
Passion flashed in her eyes, sending an answering spark through him. She was magnificent, though so very mistaken. "Really? Then her father is more liberal than I expected."
She looked him over more closely. "What do you know of this matter?"
I might ask you the same question. Her tone had been stiff, like the crystallized dome covering bubbling lava. He fixed her with his sternest glare, not entirely surprised at her cheek.
His glower didn't impress her. She lifted her shoulders higher. Stood a little taller, proud, lovely, and filled with indignation.
Quite righteous indignation. He gave into an unmanly sigh, truly weary of his responsibility for Thomas. "I know a good deal, Miss Ashford. I have been negotiating for these nuptials. The arrangement is my doing as much as Mr. Mercer's. Much more than it is my nephew's. He is probably the least culpable, except for his abominable behavior."
She clenched her hands tightly. "I see."
"Thomas's mother was my older sister. I made a promise to her that I would look after him." Her gaze softened, and she bit her lip in a way that made him want to taste the part that she was nipping.
And where had that thought come from?
"And your nephew needs money and an heir."
He nodded. As a woman of the ton, of course she would understand how marriage worked. Marriage wasn’t about love, or the bride’s approval, or a plump lower lip that begged to be kissed.
"He needs money most of all. He has a younger brother in the army who would make a far more dutiful earl."
He covered his mouth with his hand. The words had rolled out, shocking him. He rarely spoke this frankly with any woman.
Very well, he never spoke this frankly with any woman.
She released a soft breath. "And there is the matter of the ore."
His mouth gaped and he quickly closed it. Mr. Mercer had shared that information? Well. "That part of the county is rich with newly discovered veins of iron."
That information brought her up straighter. She looked away, gazing intently at a thick, dark spot of foliage, making him want to pry into that sharp mind.
"I see,” she said. “I believe we should go back in now."
Not yet. He tucked her hand over his arm but did not move.

Buy Links:

Alina K. Field Bio and links:

Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German
literature, but she found her true passion in reading and writing romance. Though her roots are in the Midwest, after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband and a blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

Her debut novella, Rosalyn’s Ring, was the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner in the novella category.

Visit her at:

Pick your choice of 5 Q & A’s:
Interview with Liliana Ashford, heroine of Liliana’s Letter

1. Nickname
My brother and his friends always called me “Lil” as a nickname.
2. Job
Sadly, I was forced by circumstances to take employment as a companion to a wealthy young woman coming out into society. My job was to help her make a very good marriage.
3. Level of schooling, or self-taught
Like most of the girls of my class, I did not attend school. From time to time I had a governess or tutor, and I found solace, and much education, in books.
4. Birthdate
Must a lady as old as I am and still unmarried share her date of birth? No, I think not.
5. Birthplace
I was born at our family home in Cambridgeshire.
6. Currently residing in…
London, of course.
7. Favorite type of pet
My father kept hounds until he had to sell them, but they were never my pets. I do believe that if ever I have the opportunity, I should like to keep a little dog.
8. Favorite place to visit
I dearly love the British Museum and would like to spend more time there.
9. Significant other
Now that our story has been told, you know my significant other is dear Grigsby.
10. Most important goal
Before my marriage, my most important goal was to prevent my young lady from marrying Grigsby’s dreadful nephew. Now, I shall do my best to help my husband discover his nephew’s murderer.
11. Worst fear or nightmare
For the longest time, my worst fear has been to live as a genteel pauper with no family or friends.
12. Favorite food
I love a freshly made scone with good Devon cream, don’t you?
13. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?
I was poor as a church mouse until I married Grigsby.
14. Secret desire or fantasy
I should love to see the pyramids and ride on a camel.
15. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Yes, we do have lotteries, but ladies do not generally participate. Still, if I could dream and find myself with a pot of money, I would establish a charity to help the young girls from the London rookeries into a better life.

Alina K. Field on #EggcerptExchange with Liliana’s Letter

#EggcerptExchange – Regency Romance with @AlinaKField, Liliana’s Letter

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Maryann Miller and Boxes for Beds #Egg-cerpt Exchange

Today I'm welcoming Maryann Miller and her book "Boxes for Beds" to the #Egg-cerpt Exchange

#EggcerptExchange Boxes For Beds by Maryann Miller

The 1960s were a time of peace and love in California, but not so in Hot Springs, Arkansas where the mob still ruled. In Boxes For Beds, babies are being kidnapped, and the local sheriff has to put this case to bed before the bosses come down from Chicago for a big meeting. Sheriff Bates is ruled by the mob, so he does the most expedient thing, arresting Leslie Richards, the new woman in town, even though there’s only thin circumstantial evidence against her. Better for it to be a stranger taking those babies and not one of their own. Leslie has left New York with her daughter, Mandy, hoping to escape from her past and the ruins of a relationship, only to discover that there is little peace for her in Pine Hollow, Arkansas. The only good thing that happens is Ronald showing up one day, hoping to get Leslie’s love back.

January 1936
"Hush little baby, don't you cry ... " The plaintive melody whispered in the otherwise resounding
One small candle flickered atop the dust-­encrusted chest of drawers, the feeble light unable to dispel the gloom born of the murky darkness. The yellow flame wafted in a sudden draft, casting macabre patterns on a precarious stack of old boxes supported by an intricate network of cobwebs. The pale light briefly touched a figure hunched over an open trunk.
The figure loomed more like a shadow than a real person and reached out a hand to lightly trace the features of the tiny bundle nestled within the trunk's musty interior.
"Would you listen to me? Singing to a doll-baby just like you was real."
Wide, unblinking eyes stared back.
"Sometimes I wish ... but no. It's better this way. If you was real, then I'd have to tell you to hush for sure. The Man don't let me play with no real babies. Says I might hurt 'em. But he don't know. I can be real gentle. Ain't my fault those others broke. You ain't gonna do that are you?"
March 6, 1961
Leslie Richards sat on the ground, idly picking at the strands of dry grass beside her. No sign of green yet, not even in Pine Hollow, Arkansas. Not that she really expected it. Early March is still winter whether in Arkansas or New York, but at least the breeze blew a little warmer here. She definitely wouldn't be sitting on the ground if she were still in New York.
Easing herself against the thick trunk of the old oak, which stretched leafless branches high into a shimmering blue sky, Leslie thought of how her agent had reacted to the news of her impending move. Merrill had stolen the response Leslie had expected from her parents.
"What on earth do you want to leave New York for?" Merrill rolled a well-chewed pencil between her slim fingers, staring at Leslie in frank astonishment.
"You're the one who keeps telling me a writer should be well-traveled. Let's just say I'm broadening my horizons."
"Some podunk town in the South is hardly what I had in mind."
"That 'podunk town', as you so colorfully put it, is part of my heritage. My grandmother was raised there. I can reconnect with my roots."
"Right. Like that's been a burning issue in your life." Merrill flashed one of her lopsided smiles. "I think you're holding out on me, kid."
"Oh, Merrill," The tears Leslie had vowed not to burden her friend with welled in her eyes and spilled unbidden down her cheeks. "Everything's such a mess. Since Ronald ... I can't think. I can't work."

Character Questions for Leslie Richards:
What would you do if you won the lottery? What a great question. We all fantasize about that, don’t we? First, I’d buy the biggest, prettiest house in Pine Hollow. Despite all that has happened to me since I came here, I do love this small town and plan to stay. For my friend, Pauline, I’d buy her a larger space for her bookstore/library, and I’d stock it with a ton of books. Of course, I’d also have to put a lot of it away for Mandy’s college fund. Then I’d keep the rest to live on, just in case the writing doesn’t keep paying the bills.

What is your favorite place to visit? I enjoy going to Hot Springs and visiting one of the bath houses, and I even like going to the track now and then. And if I won the lottery, maybe I could even place a bet. Or better yet, buy a racehorse and win lots of money from races. While I love my life here, now that things have settled from the arrest and everything, I do like to go back to New York. It’s always great fun to meet my agent somewhere in Manhattan and remember what it’s like to get all dressed up and enjoy the night life. I visit my parents, too, and assure them that Mandy and I are just fine down here in Arkansas. This is a quieter, simpler place, and Mandy is thriving.

Level of Education or self-taught? Since I had Mandy not long after high school, I never did go to college. And I’m not even sure where the ability to write came from. I always have loved to read, and I started reading children’s books to Mandy. I discovered I enjoyed those books as much as I enjoyed ones for adults, so I started writing those.

What was the most difficult part of your life? Well, you’d think being arrested for murder might have topped the list, but actually, it does not. Being an unwed mother in the early 60s was much different from what it has been for young girls in later years. There was a stigma attached and people judged me, so I kept to myself. Thank goodness my parents supported me when I decided to keep Mandy, otherwise I would not have been able to manage. I’m glad that things have changed and girls no longer need to hide like they’ve done something wrong. The worst part of that is the fact that it has always been okay for the guys to have sex. It’s almost a badge of honor or a rite of passage for them, but for women, for too long, it was a badge of dishonor.

What is your goal in life? Oh, there are so many. First and foremost, I want to do a good job raising Mandy so she can become a confident, educated, and happy adult. I hope that Ronald can be a part of that, but we are still working out some of our past issues. And, of course, I would love to become a best-selling author. I will admit that I am a bit jealous of J.K. Rowling, although I don’t begrudge her. Wow, what a fabulous talent with a magical imagination.

Maryann Miller is a best-selling author of books, screenplays and stage plays. Boxes for Beds is her first indie release. Her previous books include a police-procedural mystery, Open Season, which is the first in a new series that features two women homicide detectives. Think "Lethal Weapon" set in Dallas with female leads. Miller has won numerous awards for her screenplays and short fiction, including the Page Edwards Short Fiction Award, the New York Library Best Books for Teens Award, and first place in the screenwriting competition at the Houston Writer's Conference.

BUY LINK – Boxes for Beds is available in paper, electronic, and audio. Links to all formats are on Maryann’s Book Page on her website:
AUTHOR LINKS – Amazon Author Page
Facebook Author Page
Author Website

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kim Headlee and Kings— #Egg-Cerpt Exchange

I'm pleased to host Kim Headlee and her book Kings today and yet another post for the Egg-Cerpt Exchange

AUTHORS – Kim Iverson Headlee and Patricia Duffy Novak
GENRE – Fantasy (Sword & Sorcery)
LENGTH  10K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown


A funny thing happened on the way to the battlefield.

Arthur, High King of Brydein, must fight the last of the rebel kings to acknowledge his right to govern them all: his old nemesis, King Urien of Dalriada. Before he can lead his army to where Urien’s forces sit ensconced, however, a fey man appears from the midst of a sudden, eerie storm to block the way. The man claims to be the high king of an altogether unknown land… and he wields uncanny power the likes of which Arthur has never seen.

Garrin, High King of Helvar, steps into a patch of mist. A breath later, he’s standing toe to toe with a man claiming to be the high king of an altogether unknown land… and this warrior-king is leading an army into Helvar, wielding a sword that resists Garrin’s magic. Only, the man insists that his sword isn’t enchanted and that Garrin isn’t in Helvar anymore.

What the bloody hell—or five hells, in Garrin’s case—is a high king to do?

Their encounter reeks of an enemy mage’s dark arts, and no one is laughing.


Excerpt  (Garrin demands answers,

What had Arthur called this place? Brydein? There was no kingdom of that name in the entire world.
At least… not in his world.
He recalled the odd wrenching sensation he’d felt as he had stepped into a patch of mist. Had he passed through a gate between worlds? If so, someone from Brydein must have summoned him. Had this Arthur done so? If he had, he would regret it. Cai would relax his grip soon enough, and Garrin resolved to be ready.
Meantime, he needed more answers.
“What do you want with me?” Garrin demanded of Arthur.
Arthur nodded at one of his soldiers, and the man retrieved Arthur’s sword for him. He examined the blade longer than Garrin felt was necessary before sheathing it at last.
No one—mage or otherwise—had ever possessed the anatomy to make Garrin stew. He felt his respect for this man rise a notch.
“Want… with you?” Arthur shook his head as if perplexed by the question. “Not one bloody thing. In fact, Garrin brin Alaric, you are a distinct inconvenience.”


Arthur is a warrior-king, military strategist, diplomat, and great in the sack with his wife, Gyan. They have three children. He loves a good friendly bout with swords, blunted or otherwise, and can hold his own in a verbal duel too.

Garrin is a mage-king and warrior, not so great with diplomacy but is willing to learn, and you’ll have to ask him how good he is in the sack with his significant other, Kaitlyn. If you dare. He is well versed in herbal lore and makes a terrific camp stew.


Kim Headlee lives on a farm in the mountains of southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, fish, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning published novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight, first edition, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian legends for nigh on half a century.

Patricia Novak lives in Alabama with her husband, Jim, two dogs, and more cats than she wants to count. Her short fiction has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Daily Science Fiction, a number of the Darkover anthologies, and several volumes of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies.


AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE (Worldwide link) –

Monday, March 21, 2016

Welcome to the Open Book Blog Hop. Our topic this week was "Announcements; Controversial topics, industry news, parallels between events and your writing, topic or genre."

So first off, an announcement. I'll be at Comic Con Cheyenne May 13, 14, 15th. I'll have giveaways, books for sale, and other goodies. I hope you'll drop by and say hi if you're there!

And moving right along to the rest of the post—I wasn't sure how to approach it as I make a point of avoiding political discussions in my public persona.

But anyone who reads my books should be able to detect an underlying theme. I'm a strong proponent of equal rights for women. As much as we like to pretend otherwise, women in the United States still aren't on equal footing with men in many professions or in many other areas of life in general.(I won't even mention the many parts of the world where women are in worse shape than the US.)

That's one of the challenges the wolf shifters in my Free Wolves series are facing. The pack structure traditionally delegated leadership positions to males only. Although Gavin Fairwood, the current pack leader is making headway on changing that, many other packs in North America haven't even thought about it.

But even within the pack, his efforts don't go unchallenged. People get used to the status qou and change ins't easy. Much like our society that still doesn't accept that women are capable of doing much more than the traditional roles portrayed in old movies. Not every woman wants to be a mother or a nurse or teacher. Some of us work in IT and can tear apart or build a computer as well as any male technician.

Yet there are still males that want to control us, who think that just because we have periods that
we're somehow not rational or dependable. Men who think that a mother nursing her child is disgusting and that it should be hidden away from view. Men who believe that by controlling our bodies and sexuality they can enslave our minds. And there are still women who have been trained to see other women as competition for available males rather than as sisters.

So I cheer as my female wolves discover they are capable of doing things that only the males have been allowed to do in the past. I celebrate each time one of my female wolves breaks a long-standing if unwritten rule that serves only to deny them equal rights. Or even a written one that needs changed. And I smile when a male wolf backs up the female and helps her on her journey.

We women have come a long way. A woman is a serious contender for the White House. The glass ceiling in business is starting to develop a few cracks. But one look at TV commercials and ads in magazines will tell you there's still a long way to go.

Women's rights isn't the only issue I tackle in my books. You'll just have to read them to spot some of the other political issues I mention.  You can find out where to buy them on the My Books page of this blog. I'll make it easy for you ti find. Here it is! My Books

Please feel free to leave comments below before you move along to another blog on this hop. I'm looking forward to seeing what some of the authors have say.

"March 21- Events/Announcements/Updates Post – Controversial topics, industry news, parallels between events and your writing, topic or genre.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

get the InLinkz code

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Nathan D. Maki and A War Within #Egg-cerpt Exchange

Today Nathan D. Maki and his book "a War Within" have dropped by for the Egg-cerpt Exchange. as it's based in the days of the Roman Empire. Please read on!

How far would you go to free your mother from slavery?
Suzanna ben Ya’ir is a slave to the king of Hatra, the indomitable fortress city. She dreams of escaping the harem and finding her way back to Rome to find her son, but she is held prisoner by the king’s soldiers, towering walls, and untold miles of murderous desert. To escape she must earn coins as a healer among the common folk of the city and join forces with a Hatran guard who secretly loves her. But when the Roman legions arrive to besiege the city her hope of escape seems more unattainable than ever.
Theudas ben Ya’ir is a fierce warrior and a member of the Roman Emperor’s guard, but he also harbors a deadly secret – he is a Christian. Theudas longs to find his mother and rescue her from slavery, but the Emperor, his legions, and Plautianus – the ruthless leader of the Praetorians – are besieging the city where she is held captive. Now Theudas must break the Roman siege and infiltrate the hostile city, find his mother and help her escape. But doing so will mean committing treason against the Emperor. Will his quest cost Theudas his new-found faith and the life of the woman he loves?
With Suzanna’s life hanging in the balance, can she and Theudas defy the odds and reunite? And if so, can they hope to survive?
Suzanna wept with shame. She wept for the hope of escape that she knew to be false even as she clung to it. The paltry few coins she managed to save would never be enough to convince a merchant to risk the wrath of the king by smuggling her out of this city and across the wasteland surrounding it. The course of her life stretched out before her, as clear and brutal as the sandy, sun-baked road that led west toward the life she would never see again. She would go from the harem to the scullery as her beauty continued to fade, and finally, long after all color had been bleached from her life, to the grave.
She tried to reach for her faith, fumbled for it with groping fingers. She could brush it, could feel the residual warmth of the fire that once burned in her, but she couldn’t grasp it, couldn’t stir it to life again. Jehovah had forsaken her and so she knelt in a pile of rotting garbage against a filthy stone wall and wept.
Her pain seemed inexhaustible but her tears were not and finally her shuddering shoulders slowed and her sobs subsided. She was leaning against the wall now, her cheek against cold stone. In that moment, Suzanna felt a strange sense of clarity. She had two choices. She could lay here and die, or get up and go on. It was the hardest decision she had ever faced.
In the end, a dying man made the decision for her.
Tonight is the night Binyamin will pass from this world and I must be there to ease that passing. I must be there. I must get up. I must make at least this one last effort.
The heat of the day was fully gone now and she was stiff with cold. She struggled to her feet and stared up at the crooked slice of starry sky above. What time was it? Time had had no meaning while she wept. It could have been minutes or hours. But it was still darkest night. She still had time. She brushed at her the skirt of her tunic in a futile effort to wipe away the muck, then swept a sleeve across her eyes and beneath her nose. Stepping free of the alley she looked around, took her bearings, and started off at a pained shuffle.
Movement worked the cold stiffness from her limbs and she began walking faster as if trying to shake off and leave behind the depression and hopelessness that had threatened to crush her. She had a purpose this night, reason enough to live.
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. The proverb came, unbidden, to her mind. And along with it came a thought, a feeling, a whisper on the wind. Theudas yet lives. She couldn’t tell where the assurance came from, had no way to prove it as true, and yet she suddenly knew it. Knew it like her own name. She quickened her steps still more.
Where there is life, there is hope.
Purchase Links:



Author Bio:

As a kid, Nathan D. Maki delighted in leaping through the door of historical fiction and into the adventure of the ancient world. In his teens, his love for reading birthed a desire to write and bring history alive for others. Nathan has always been fascinated with the monumental power and enduring achievements of the Roman Empire and its asymmetrical clash with Early Christianity. As a Christian, he is inspired by stories of triumphant faith in the face of persecution, and he hopes these stories will inspire others as well.

Character Interview of Suzanna ben Ya’ir

4. Birthdate and 5. Birthplace

Suzanna was born a slave in Rome in AD 161. She was descended from Jewish slaves captured in the Judeo-Roman war a hundred years before.

3. Level of schooling, or self-taught

As a child, she learned healing from her master, a Greek physician, and after being sold upon his death she further developed her natural talent through hands-on experience, nursing her master’s wife and other slaves in the household.

9. Significant other

She married a fellow Jewish slave, Luke, and they had a son, Theudas. After Theudas fought their master’s son and Luke defended him, both father and son were sold to be gladiators.

6. Currently residing in...

Luke died in the Coliseum, and Suzanna was transported to Parthia and sold into the harem of the king of Hatra, the Parthian desert fortress.

2. Job and 10. Most important goal

There, with the help of a sympathetic guard, she slips away at night to nurse the poor, hording the few coins she receives in payment in hopes of one day buying passage back to Rome with a caravan.

14. Secret desire or fantasy and 11. Worst fear or nightmare

Her secret dream is to be reunited with her son, while her greatest fear is that she will die alone and forgotten.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Janie Franz and Verses #Egg-cerpt Exchange

Today I'm pleased to welcome Janie Franz  and her book Verses to the #Egg-Cerpt Exchange. Welcome, Janie!

Verses (The Lost Song Trilogy book 1 and book 4 of the Bowdancer series)
Janie Franz

Eleven summers after Jan-nell the bowdancer left her daughter Mira-nell with the sisterhood of hunters on the mountain and came to live with Khrin to raise their son, Bearin, she is called by the sisterhood to find their origins.

The first clue is a bit of song Jan-nell learns at the deathbed of the oldest woman in the sisterhood’s village. Jan-nell and her companions seek the origins of the mysterious women on the mountain through the verses of that song.

Master hunter Bekar and master trackfinder Chandro accompany Jan-nell and Bearin on a quest for the lost song that takes them from their local inn out across the landscape of their world as they meet bee spinners and kings and risk their lives to achieve their goal.

“Is the old woman failing?”

“She is ill, and Leyton worries that she may pass before she can tell Jan-nell the gossip from the first mothers about our coming to the mountain.”

“She wants a story-song then?”

Chandro nodded again. “She has finally agreed.”

Bekar bit into a crisp cucumber, relishing the new taste. “Hmm.” Then she turned to Jan-nell. “I would like to know how we came here and why. I feel there is something we should all know, but it has been kept from us. We did not have feasts and music before you and Mira-nell came, or ways to mark our life passages, except for when we have our first moon and become women or when a few take their places among the hunters.”

“At least Mira-nell has that affirmation. She would not get it here.” Jan-nell cast Khrin a look. “They would be plotting who she should wed by now—if not preparing the ceremony as we speak.”

Khrin held up his hands. “It is not my doing. My mother likes weddings and babes.”

Chandro’s gaze rested on Bearin. “Do they plot who you will wed?” she asked the boy.

“If I would listen,” he said.

“What?” Jan-nell turned to him.

“I do not bother you with their talk. Granddame’s sister has a girl my age that she thinks is fair.”

“But she is kin?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “They do not count kin that far from Granddame. Besides, though she is fair, she cannot think. What would I have to say to such a one?”

“There will be a time where thinking is not what is most in your mind when you look upon a girl,” Chandro counseled.

Frowning at the trackfinder, Jan-nell continued. “You have seen her?”

The boy gave a nod.


Bearin looked confused. “What?”

Khrin shook his head, grinning “I do not know if your mother is more shocked that she did not know about this or that she does not know what instructions you have been given about girls.”

“Well, it is obvious somebody has been filling his head with something!” Jan-nell snapped. “I do not wish him to have a houseful of babes before he has explored the world and found what lies in his heart.”

Bekar chuckled, and Jan-nell turned her growing anger on the hunter, glaring fiercely at her.

“Forgive,” Bekar said. “Be at peace.” She turned to the boy. “Tell us what you have learned about girls.”

Jan-nell raised an eyebrow at Bekar’s words.

Bearin looked up at his teacher. “It depends on the girl. Some are silly though they may be beautiful. Some are wise though they may look like a goat. Some are noble and kind, and some are devious and can never be happy no matter how much is given to them. Some have talents, though they may be in the domestic arts, while some are clever and strong and know men’s work. Both kinds can work alongside any man. Girls—women are as diverse as men.”

“And what of pairings—wedded or not?”

He shrugged again. “Just as varied.” He looked at every face. “As are families. Are we not a family around this table?”

“Yes, we are,” Khrin stated and reached for his mug of tea. He held it up as if to give a toast.

Bekar smiled and held up her mug. Bearin hoisted his aloft. Chandro looked at Jan-nell and raised her mug. Moving her eyes from face to face, Jan-nell finally raised her mug. “To our family,” Khrin said in firm tones.

Interview Questions for Bekar
1. Nickname: I’ve always been called Bekar. It is a name different from the other women up on the mountain.
2. Job: Do you mean what work I have been called to do? I am a Master Hunter
3. Birthplace: I was born up on the mountain, far above the little villages below. There are only women here, strong women. We are grateful to have Mira-nell, Jan-nell’s child, teach our young girls the ways of healing and the songs of the One. Those songs and dances stir my heart, unlike many of the other women here. And Mira-nell has her mother’s touch with herbing goat and wild game. We of the sisterhood, as Jan-nell calls us, are very grateful Mira-nell tends our cook fires.
4. Significant other: Do you mean a mate? I have not found one, though I have had many lovers. I think I’m too much of a mountain goal to be tamed by a mate.
5. Most important goal: We must find the answers to where we came from. Surely, we did not spring from the rocks of our mountain home. I am different from the other women here. I brown darker in the summer’s sun. My hair is not fair like theirs.

Buy links:
This book is on sale for 99cents at

And can be bought for regular price at:

About Janie Franz
Janie Franz comes from a long line of Southern liars and storytellers. She told other people’s stories
as a freelance journalist for many years. With Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox, she co-wrote The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book, and then self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid! She also published an online music publication, was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor.

Currently, she is writing her tweveth novel and a self-help book, Starting Over: Becoming a Woman of Power.

#Egg-cerpt Exchange #Verses #JanieFranz

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Person Experience- #OpenBook Blog Hop

     This week we're talking about a personal experience. A pretty broad category trying to narrow it down is tough. I'm old, and I admit it. I've done a lot in my life. I've stood on the top of a mountain, I've played on beaches on both the East and West coasts, I've hunkered down and survived several hurricanes. I've travelled all over the United States for work and have been in all but about four states.
     I met my husband while I was in college and we got engaged six weeks after we met. We got married three months after we met. And we're still married, for more years than many of you have been alive.
     We've had two children, one girl and one boy. The perfect American family. Except that I've held my dying little girl in my arms, due to the sudden onset of a previously undiagnosed and unsuspected medical condition. She survived, thank heavens. And I watched my son's dreams disappear due to an entirely different medical condition.
     I've worked for thirteen different companies in four different states. I've had my poetry published internationally and I've self-published four books—so far. So how do I narrow all of that down and talk about only one thing?

    When I was in college (at one of the three colleges I've attended) I took a P.E. course in Basic Rock Climbing techniques. In other words, mountain climbing. We'd load up a bus Saturday mornings and head out to some cliffs about 45 minutes away from the school. We started off with basic things like learning how to tie knots and use carabiners (see below) as well as how to bundle our ropes so they wouldn't get tangled during use.

    As we got more confident in out skills, we started to actually climb the bigger rocks, then moved on to the smaller cliffs. We also learned safety techniques, how to rescue other climbers if they got in trouble while climbing. That was the day I spent way too much time dangling from the edge because my partner couldn't figure out how to save me.
     It's a good thing the college was far away from home so my poor mother didn't hear about it until I was halfway through the course.
Because, you see, this was about three months after I'd had a major accident on my bicycle. The front wheel fell off going down a hill and I ended up in the hospital for five days with a concussion and a broken collarbone.

    But back to the rock climbing. The last day of the course we finally got to rappel down the longest cliff in the area. It wasn't that big compared some I've seen since then, but it was a good starting point. For those of you whom have never done it, rappelling is basically walking off a cliff backwards, with only a rope and your own skill to keep you from dropping all the way down at once.
    The first few steps down were freaky. I stayed way too close to the cliff, trying to find places for my feet to land and get a grip. But then I got the idea of it. Push out, let the rope slide through your hand just a bit and eventually touch the face of the rock again with your feet. When I finally reached the bottom, I wanted to do try again.
     So that's my story. I can't wait to hear what everyone else has chosen as their experience. You can find out by following the links at the bottom of the post. And if you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments.

#Mountain Climbing #Rappel

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mari Manning & Stranger at My Door—#Egg-cerpt Exchange

It's Mari Manning's turn today for the Egg-Cerpt Exchange. She's brought along her book, Stranger at My Door. Welcome, Mari!

First, the interview.

Dinah Pittman, heroine of Stranger at My Door
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in Texas. I’ll tell you the name, but it doesn’t matter since no one’s ever heard of it. It’s El Royo. For the first 17 years of my life, I loved it, then a crime destroyed my family, and I couldn’t get away fast enough.
When is your birthday?
I’m 25, so you do the math. I was born on November 1, and my mother, who believed in the stars, painted the night sky at it appeared the day I was born on the ceiling of my bedroom.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Pay back the money my father stole.

Rafe Morales, hero of Stranger at My Door
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on Hacienda Osito, which means Little Bear Ranch in Spanish.
Worst fear or nightmare?
I’ve lived through my worst fear – I watched someone I love die before my eyes. Something broke in me that night. Most people call it my nerve. My mother swears it’s my alma, which means soul. Whatever it is, I hope it mends, but I don’t believe I will ever be whole again.

About “Stranger at My Door” by Mari Manning
The only thing standing between Dinah Pittman and a murderer is a man she’s afraid to trust …
As far as Dinah Pittman is concerned, men can’t be trusted. Especially cops. Her own father was a cop and a convicted felon who stole a small fortune before dying in prison. The best part? No one knows where the money is…and someone is willing to kill off everyone who knows anything about it.
And Dinah is next.
Rafe Morales left the Dallas police force to settle down to a simpler life in the small Texas town of El Royo. Instead, he finds himself protecting an infuriating, tough-as-nails, oh-so-sexy victim—and driving himself crazy with a thoroughly unprofessional desire.
But as the body count rises, Rafe and Dinah must find a way to trust each other…before they both end up dead.

From the book:
The front door rebounded and clipped Rafe’s shoulder. He kicked it closed with his boot before raking his flashlight beam across the unlit entryway. The hall was clear. His heart thumping against ribs, he burst into the living room. His light hit the figure of a woman, and his feet froze. He tilted the beam up and framed Dinah Pittman’s expressionless face.
Most girls would have screamed or hid when he kicked in the door. Not this one. She had balls, he’d give her that.
Her forearm lifted to shield her eyes from the light. “Who are you? What do you want?” She sounded tired. “I already told Teke, I don’t know where the money is.”
Rafe lowered the flashlight and rolled his shoulder to loosen a tight muscle. There were about two dozen abandoned bungalows in this part of town. When he saw a candle flickering in the window, he’d expected a confrontation with teenagers or maybe a squatter.
He stepped into the candlelight. “Officer Morales, ma’am. Got something against electricity?” As soon as the words were out, he regretted them. The pink flyers. She’d needed money to turn on the lights.
Her mouth tightened. “Get out.” Turning to a small table by the window, she gathered up scattered cards, probably her tarot cards. Had she found customers already?
He studied her as he summoned up an appropriate apology. She wore cut-offs and a white T-shirt. His eyes swept down her slim legs to her bare feet and red toenails before he could stop himself. Why were pain-in-the-ass women always hot?
“I didn’t mean to upset you—”
“Don’t flatter yourself.”
“That’s tough to do with you around.”
Her hand stilled for a moment, then returned to its task. “You could have knocked.”
“Sometimes we get squatters in these abandoned houses. They’re more likely to be discouraged by a show of force.”
“I could have been a mass murderer. Aren’t you supposed to call for backup?” She glanced down at his flashlight. “If I was a bad guy with a gun, you’d be dead, Officer Morales.”
She’d read him right. He’d tried to pull out his service revolver when he broke down the door, but—predictably—his hand had turned to Jell-O. After two years, he still couldn’t get past the night in Dallas when his beautiful, daring Sam’s luck ran out, and he’d avenged her but failed to live up to his own lofty ideals. So he relied on the element of surprise and big fists.
Gathering up the cards, she set them in a neat stack. “As you can see, I am not a squatter.” Her gaze flickered to his flashlight, then back up to his face. “There’s an empty house about two blocks down if you’re determined to rescue one.”
The corner of his mouth inched up. She’d be a handful…for the right man, which sure as hell wasn’t him. Not anymore. “Thanks for the tip.”

About Mari Manning
Let’s start with the fun stuff. I love small towns, mysteries, quiet men, laughter, old-fashioned spaghetti dinners. I love boots and shopping and jokes and Hershey’s dark chocolate and white wine. I love lots of things. But my first love is reading.
I love to read. Just about anything, but it has to be well-written. I go through periods where I am into historical novels or romance or mystery or history or biography. I never know when my desires will suddenly change.
Now for the writer-ish, official stuff: Mari Manning is the author of several contemporary romances and three romantic suspense novels set in the Texas Hill Country. Stranger at My Door is the first in her A Murder in Teas series. The second, Stranger in My House will be published by Entangled later this year. The third book in the series is Stranger in My Bed. Currently Mari is working on a series of cozy mysteries.
She and her husband live in Chicago.
Buy links to all the major electronic sites are here:
Contact Mari at

Visit my website at

Follow me @mari_manning on Twitter

Monday, March 7, 2016

Allaina Daniels and Infinity #Egg-cerpt Exchange

Today I'm featuring  Allaina Daniels and her debut book, Infinity. Welcome Allaina!

Blurb: Professional animal trainer, Carmen Rockwell, is happy living her life on the edge of society. She owns a high profile business that is run by her best friend, Lissy, the only person she thinks she needs in her life. Because of an unusual gift, she is the best in the country at what she does. She goes away for work and finds herself suddenly drawn into a new world- one that she never knew existed and against her will, it follows her home, demanding that she enter into the life she was destined to live. An important date is approaching fast, but will she turn away from this new world and hide or will she face her fate head on? One man could make all the difference- but does he love her or is she only a means to an end?

Excerpt: (This is the first 5 chapters from the amazon sample.)

Purchase Link:

Character interview:

(To read the previous part of this interview please visit

A: “So I am curious, and I want an answer from each of you. What is your worst fear or most prominent nightmare?”
C and G: Look at me while frowning.
A: “Go on. You know it is best if you get it out in the open anyway.”
G: Runs his hand across the back of his neck and looks away while mumbling, “I’m afraid of being alone again.”
C: Smiles at Gabriel while placing her hand on his cheek, “Silly man. I am going to drive you crazy until the end of time.”
G: Looks back at Carmen with a small smile. “I’m going to hold you to that.”
A: “Your turn, Carmen.”
C: Blows out a breath while tucking her hair behind her ear. “My dreams are always great. It is the memories that haunt me. If I could erase seeing Gabriel bleeding out on Lissy’s floor from my mind, I would.” She looks me in the eye, “There is nothing like watching the one person you love above all others dying in from of you and you are helpless to stop the process.”
A: “I understand better than you know. But this interview is about the two of you, not me.”

(To read the next segment of this interview please visit
on Mar 14th.)

Author Bio:
Allaina Daniels is a sassy domestic goddess from Georgia whose addiction to caffeine is surpassed
only by her passion for the written word.

Her debut paranormal romance, Infinity, was released in August 2015; and, her second novel is expected to be available by summer 2016.

Allaina is an avid reader and reviewer of all genres and enjoys connecting with her readers on social media.

Stalk Allaina at these places.

The Writing Game—#Open Book Blog Hop

This week on the Blog Hop we're talking about the writing game, and how it works in our world.

I'd written essays throughout grade, but the first short story I remember writing was in eighth grade. It was a class assignment, and I was inspired by a book I'd read a few days before. It had an "open ending" where I didn't spell out the finishing action in detail, trying to get the reader to the point where they would understand what had happened without me actually saying it. My teacher hated it.

That incident didn't destroy my desire to write. In high school, I found my voice in poetry, and wrote poetry for years. Some of it was pretty good—good enough to be published in national magazines.

But just as I've had to recreate myself in terms of paid jobs, I got to a point where I needed to recreate myself in terms of writing.Some stories floating around in my head wouldn't become a poem no matter how I played them. So I wrote a book. On paper. By hand. Then I rewrote it. Again on paper.

I decided it wasn't half-bad, but not good enough. So I started another book. Again, by hand, On paper. And it was better.

And I was hooked. I haven't stopped writing books since. Although I have made the switch to writing my stories on a computer. It's so much easier to edit that way.

So how do I do it?

I get a lot of inspiration for my stories from dreams. The basis for both the Free Wolves series and the Oak Grove Mysteries came from little snatches of dreams. Of course, those little snippets grew into much more as I listened to my characters and let them tell me their stories. I never expected Tasha from Wolves' Pawn to demand her own book, but she did. That's where Wolves' Knight came from.

Unlike some other writers, I write the entire first draft of my book in progress before I start editing. That's because sometimes my characters surprise me as I write there stories. I didn't plan for the romance in Wolves' Knight to end up like it did, so I had to go back and change some of the action in the beginning.

And as I've mentioned before, I really did plan to have Eli in The Marquesa's Necklace be a ghost. But Harmony wouldn't put up with it. So he became a real man. (Well, as real as a character in a book can be!)

Once the story is complete, it's time for the real work to begin. Editing. I use an online tool to help me with the first round of edits. It points out overused words, bad grammar, run-on sentences and a wealth of other errors.

Once I've thoroughly beat up my manuscript, I'm ready to allow other eyes to see it. Because other people will spot things I've missed. There's a website called Critique Circle, where I can get anonymous feedback from writers from all over the world. I also have developed connections with other writers and we exchange critiques.

When I've beat up my story for a second time with their help, it's time for a third round of editing. That's done by listening to my story being read out loud. Not by me, (Well, sometimes I read it to myself) but by the built in voice of my iPad. Hearing the words alerts me to things that had been missed by more traditional methods of editing.

Once that's done, it's time to let  my work go. But usually I have another story working in my brain just waiting for me to write it. (Right now I have two stories waiting, and two in progress. Is that crazy?)

If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments. I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

To find out what other authors have to say, follow the links below.

#OpenBook #Writing

March 7 – Behind the scenes post. How does this writing game get done in your world?

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

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